Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Word Up To All My Homies

Courtesy of JoeAcevedo.com and Jeff Stephens

First, I'd like to give a big shout out to all my peeps who helped with the whole amphibian superhero thing. I don't know why I forgot Gorkko the Man-Frog or the Menacing Manphibian, but now that I have remembered them they shall once again live in my memory for another couple days before I forget them again.

And crocodiles are not amphibians.

A while back I put out an open call for questions that I would answer in this blog. Well, I held out as long as I could but - come on, people. Three questions? That's it? Sterling got, like, three dozen and a few assorted marriage proposals. I get three. Come on, am I that uninteresting?

Anyway, here are the answers for those brave souls who cared:

Any thoughts on the rumored appearance of the Silver Surfer (and Galactus, natch) in the next Fantastic Four flick?

Seeing as how I haven't even got around to seeing the first Fantastic Four movie (or more precisely, the most recent one not made by Roger Corman) in it's entirety, I can honestly say I could not care less. I love the Fantastic Four but I know full well the movie would invariably disappoint if I cared enough to bother. I imagine it would be just like the sensation of seeing someone you know fairly intimately acting out of character in such a manner as to become a total stranger - kind of weird and unpleasant. It's sort of an analog to that old axiom about the "uncanny valley" - only instead of a robot possessing near-human features and becoming repugnant to humans, it's a replica of a known fictional character possessing similar attributes to the original but being just off enough that it seems somehow totally wrong. Hence the Ralph Bakshi Fritz the Cat, the American Dr. Who, the August Derlieth Cthulhu stories. I believe Pulp put it best in their classic "Bad Cover Version":
The word's on the street: you've found someone new.
If he looks nothing like me I'm so happy for you.
I heard an old girlfriend has turned to the church -
she's trying to replace me, but it'll never work.
'Cos every touch reminds you of just how sweet it could have been
And every time he kisses you it leaves behind the bitter taste of saccharine.
A bad cover version of love is not the real thing.
Bikini-clad girl on the front who invited you in.
Such great disappointment when you got him home -
the original was so good; the one you no longer own.
And every touch reminds you of just how sweet it could have been
And every time he kisses you, you get the taste of saccharine.
It's not easy to forget me, it's so hard to disconnect
When it's electronically reprocessed to give a more life-like effect.

Aah, sing your song about all the sad imitations that got it so wrong
It's like a later "Tom & Jerry" when the two of them could talk
Like the Stones since the Eighties, like the last days of Southfork.
Like "Planet of the Apes" on TV, the second side of "'Til the Band Comes in"
Like an own-brand box of cornflakes: he's going to let you down my friend.

And for the record, I believe the only way to do a Silver Surfer movie "right" would be to give the property to Pixar and have them make a straight drama out of it - something they sort of did with Incredibles but obviously without the sitcom hijinks. Imagine the first five minutes of the movie devoted to the coming of Galactus to some ill-fated world, a la the opening sequence of Transformers The Movie, and I think you would see that this is not something that could easily be done on a live-action scale without spending a lot of money. But alas, we'll get some sort of hip young Silver Surfer vehicle that will probably feature the Surfer as played by Larry the Cable Guy and the musical stylings of 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg
performing "Surf's Up, Bitch" at a cosmic clambake.

You may get tot his anyway, but I'd love to see your thoughts on the Steve Englehart and George Perez versions of the Silver Surfer, as well as the later revelation that Zenn-la was just a dream.
Martin Wisse

I remember loving the Englehart run, although I haven't read it in many years (as the bulk of my comics are three thousand miles away). Why has Marvel never produced a second Essential Silver Surfer volume? The Perez run started out great, and I was really into it because it promised to be significantly different from what had come before - not just more of the same old Galactus / Mephisto / Thanos Punch & Judy show. Unfortunately I recall the art becoming rather dire about halfway through the storyline, which derailed a lot of the momentum. And then they switched creative teams and brought on Ron Garney, who drew a totally bitchin' Surfer. But the stories from that era were somewhat less than memorable, to judge by the fact that although I bought and read them at the time I have no real memory of what actually happened, including that whole Zenn-La as a dream thing. I went onto Wikipedia and refreshed my memory and I guess I sort of remember that, but I must admit that the whole Zenn-La thing just seems like a bad idea. Way too elaborate a retcon for such a pitiful payoff. I imagine the next Surfer relaunch will probably ignore that story entirely.

Do you have any thoughts on Stan Lee's bitchin' Silver Surfer movie script?
Tom Spurgeon

It's Smilin' Stan in the Swingin' Seventies - what more needs be said?

And because you've all been good, here's a pair of New Pornographers music videos for your viewing enjoyment.

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